This New Proposed Amphitheatre – Is Grand Rapids Nuts?
The powers that be in Grand Rapids are getting together and it looks like a new 12,000-seat amphitheater is going to be built on the Grand River downtown, as part of a bigger project with will have mixed-income housing, trails for hiking and biking along with some commercial development.
And any project like this creates construction jobs and opportunities, but. In the power-point presentation, the city says they expect approximately 54 events annually at this amphitheater. So you're effectively killing Meijer Gardens? The Meijer Gardens folks put together a pretty broad, eclectic line-up every year and you know this new amphitheater is going to, at the very least, compete with Meijer Gardens. Not that, in business, anyone owes anyone anything, but it does seem like a slap in the face. Unless? Unless Meijer Gardens wants to return its focus to flora and fauna and get out of the concert business. That's a possibility.
But history tells us waterfront venues aren't necessarily licenses to print money. Muskegon's Summer Celebration was on Heritage Landing. You won't find a more scenic location for a venue like this than that, but do you see a Summer Celebration as we had in the 1990s and early 2000's. Yes, Muskegon didn't have the population base and in this era of $5 gasoline, I'm not sure how far most people will drive to see anyone. So, this can go both ways.
But you've also seen The Intersection and 20 Monroe Live and Van Andel Arena and even St. Mary's. Is there room for another venue?
And for disgruntled Kalamazoo folks, one last question begs to be asked, even in a snarky way. What about the noise? What about the noise from all these dates for the residents that move into the apartments that are proposed, or anywhere nearby?